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Fetch application association - bizarre! (6 posts)

  • Started 7 years ago by Andy Murkin
  • Latest reply 7 years ago from Scott McGuire
  • Andy Murkin Member

    Help - something truly bizarre has happened. My mac thinks my Fetch 4.0.3 application is a document - and a document belonging to another program! (A sound file conversion program called Switch). When I click on it to open it, it just opens the other program, not Fetch. I've never come across something like this - how on earth can I stop it, and get back Fetch again?

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator

    Hi Andy,

    Assuming you're using Mac OS X, you should try renaming your Fetch 4.0.3 application to "Fetch 4.0.3.app" - you should be asked if you're sure you want to change the extension to .app; click on the "Use .app" button.

    If this doesn't fix the problem, or if you're using Mac OS 9, let us know and we'll try some other things.

    Thanks,

    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Andy Murkin Member

    Thanks for getting back to me so promptly, Scott - I really need Fetch at the moment!

    What I did is trashed the other program. As soon as it had gone, I downloaded and reinstalled Fetch 4.0.3 - it's still available from the site - and it worked fine.

    I'm able to use an old version of the other program - which is quite a good one - which doesn't do what the new one does.

    Interestingly, I found a question (unanswered) posted earlier this month on the Users Forum for the other program, in which the writer said this had happened with any program he installed with a dot in the name. I can't verify this, as with me it only seemed to happen with Fetch.

    I hope it will be OK for me to pass your advice on to him, but to wait a bit before I experiment myself until my current urgent Fetch-ing activity is over, and report back to you later. It's obviously a problem, ultimately, with the other program, not Fetch. I'm using OSX, and what you suggest sounds good.

    Thanks again,

    Andy

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator

    Hi Andy,

    Here's what we think is going on...

    As you know, many files have "extensions" - a suffix after a period at the end of a filename - that specifies what kind of files they are. The extension is not the only information Mac OS X uses to determine what kind of file something is, but it's a big part of it.

    Most Mac OS X applications have extensions of ".app", even if you don't see that extension displayed in the Finder (because unless you have the Finder preference "Show all file extensions" turned on, the Finder hides the .app extension).

    However, some older applications that were created back when Mac OS X was new - and Mac OS 9 was still common - do not have .app extensions. Fetch 4.0.3, created in 2002, is one of those. (We continue to update and improve Fetch and have released much newer versions.)

    In theory, when a file doesn't have an extension - or has an extension that doesn't mean anything - Mac OS X should use other information stored in the file to determine what kind of file it is. However, as far as we can tell, there is a problem in Mac OS X 10.4 where if a file has a period in its name, Mac OS X sometimes incorrectly assumes all the stuff after the period is the file's extension, and assumes the file is the kind of file specified by that "extension," even if the file contains information saying what it really is.

    In Fetch 4.0.3's case, even though it is an application, the "extension" the Finder sometimes thinks it has is ".3", which isn't a meaningful extension - so depending on what other applications are installed on your Mac, the Finder will either say that there is no program that can open ".3" files, or decide that the file belongs to some random program - in your case, Switch.

    The solution is to either remove the periods from the filename, or to give the program the correct extension - in the case of Fetch 4.0.3, this would be ".app".

    We are working on fixing our downloads of Fetch 4.0.3 so that they are all named properly to avoid this problem (we thought we'd fixed them all already, but while looking into your problem, I discovered several places we hadn't fixed it yet). And of course we also have a newer version of Fetch, Fetch 5.2, designed specifically for Mac OS X, where we learned our lesson and avoided this problem by not putting the version number in the file's name!

    Anyway, I hope that helps make sense of what was going on, and yes, feel free to pass this information on, or just refer to this posting.

    Let us know if you have any more questions.

    Best,

    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Andy Murkin Member

    Scott,

    Thanks again - that does seem to be what's going on. I remember that the file type shown in list view for Fetch was '.3' during this (mercifully brief) time.

    I don't know if the reallocation was entirely random, though - the Switch forum has a thread of postings about other applications affected in the same way, and they have said their next version will fix this bug.

    Actually, I'm not sure if this was the precise way they put it, but it seems they have recognised something about the latest version of their program which does this and are going to do something to sort it out. So in the meantime, rather than begin renaming applications - there are probably others apart from Fetch, in other words - I'm sticking to a previous version of thir program which doesn't do this.

    Worth keeping an eye on, though, as the number of applications not ending in '.app' is probably decreasing as time goes on, and other people may contact you about this. I've certainly learned something new about the way my mac works.

    Once again, thanks for getting on the case so swiftly.

    Cheers,

    Andy

    Posted 7 years ago #

  • Scott McGuire Administrator

    Hi Andy,

    You're welcome.

    You're correct that Switch could be doing something that causes it to be listed as the "owner" of other programs; hopefully they'll fix that (it sounds like they're working on it). What I meant was the issue can make it belong to some <i>apparently</i> random program.

    Best,

    Scott McGuire
    Fetch Softworks

    [This message has been edited by ScottMcGuire (edited 04-18-2007).]

    Posted 7 years ago #

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